Ad wars to intensify
February 15th, 2012
06:16 PM ET
2 years ago

Ad wars to intensify

Washington (CNN) - The war of commercials from the presidential campaigns and various super PACs supporting candidates is expected to intensify in the coming days and to greatly expand in its scope.

Mitt Romney's campaign has now bought almost $1.2 million in ad time in Michigan, a source who tracks media buys told CNN. So far the campaign has up a positive spot in the state where the candidate talks about his Michigan roots. His campaign did not respond to a request for comment regarding its ad strategy.

With Rick Santorum vowing to vigorously compete in Michigan, which votes on Feb. 28th, the state will be a major focus of activity with all sides knowing the outcome there will be a key factor in determining how the race unfolds.

Santorum's campaign went up with its third spot in Michigan Wednesday going after Romney after releasing two positive ads in the state on Tuesday.

So far the campaign's ad purchases in the state have been small.

The Santorum team is planning on expanding its ad presence there and in other key states hoping it can start introducing the former Pennsylvania senator and also pre-empt attacks coming from the tremendous financial and organizational advantage enjoyed by the Romney team and the super PAC supporting him.

In the next several days, the Santorum campaign said it plans to start airing commercials in Arizona, which also votes on Feb. 28th, as well as key Super Tuesday states Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma, according to senior campaign officials John Brabender and Alice Stewart.

Romney is getting a major boost from that well-funded super PAC supporting his candidacy, Restore Our Future. This week it bought $1.5 million in commercials in Michigan, Arizona, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and Oklahoma but also moderate buys in March 13th states of Alabama and Mississippi.

The group on Wednesday started airing an ad criticizing Santorum as a “Washington insider” in Michigan, Arizona and Ohio.

The super PAC backing Santorum, the Red, White and Blue Fund, will try to minimize the impact in Michigan. It will announce on Thursday it is launching a "substantial" ad buy in Michigan, its spokesman Stuart Roy told CNN. He did not provide further details.

Santorum will need the help in order to combat the dual barrage from Romney and his allies.

Newt Gingrich currently has no ads running. Winning Our Future, the super PAC supporting Gingrich, will launch a national radio campaign on Thursday but has no plans for television buys, according to its spokesman Rick Tyler

Also see:

Gingrich: Santorum 'misunderstands' modern warfare

Santorum slams Obama administration as 'elite snobs'

Romney surrogates attack Santorum's record

CNN Poll: Romney's likability fading

CNN Poll: Gender and income gaps in GOP nomination battle


Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Pale In Comparison (Get it? Pale-in? = Palin)

    As a republican who embraces core republican values for hatred, hypocrisy, bigotry, misogyny, and homophobia, I fully endorse Rick Santorum.

    Plus, I don't really do any research on the candidates. I only vote for the person it seems like everyone else is voting for.

    But seriously, if Mitt Romney wants my vote, he's got to tell me how he is going to stop gay people for getting equal rights, how he's going to suppress opportunity for minorities, how he's going to lower the tax burden on wealthy people, and how he's going to discriminate against women. Oh, and restoring christianity too. Thats a big one.

    Right now, only Rick Santorum has touched my heart in these important republican priorities.

    February 16, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. madmaninthemiddle

    Romney should let his SPAC do the city work and keephis mane off of the attacks. The negative campaigning is what's making his lolability numbers fall. And he's going to need the Ex-Gingrich / Santorum / flavor of the week voters to support him in the general. Hard to rally the base when 60% of them previosly supported a person whom you have viciously attacked.

    February 16, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. FedUp

    Romey's ad strategy? Run nasty ads against his opponent (Santorum) because he (Romney) doesn't have a conservative record to run on.

    February 16, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. RepublicansWouldEatTheirYoung

    Republicans are the scum of the earth. They think they are better than 99% of the USA and will attack and drag thru the mud their opponents. The new party of wealth is attacking Newt and Santorium and if one gets elected will attack the 99% to provide wealth for the top 1%.
    Welcome the new potential king of the USA and down with the peasants per your favorite party of wealth.

    February 16, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. ST

    At the beginning I was angry about Super PACs but I do think now, it was very wise of the Supreme Court to let those who have money (more than they need), throw it as if they are throwing sand in the ocean, and get nothing in return or very little comparing with the money they throw in.

    February 16, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    These so-called ads are the only points of interest in an otherwise incredibly vapid GOP nomination process.
    The candidates suck, plainly put. They have NOTHING to run on and can only resoert to eithere denying their personal/political history or lying about the President's actions and accomplishments. I have never seen such a sorry bunch of nothings claiming the right to run our country.
    It is my fervent hope that they continue to cannabilize and oust each other. Let their various Super Pacs continue to advertise the other's shortcomings, whether real or imagined. It will be that much less money that the President will have to spend, and they are doing nothing if not paving the way for his inevitable re-election.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    February 16, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. AngryBob

    If there is a lesson for the Republicans in this it is "be careful what you wish for." Republicans danced the "Eagle Rock" when the Citizens United decision came down. Well, I, for one, have greatly enjoyed watching the superPACs tear each others' candidates apart.

    Romney's attack on Gingrich gave Santorum the win in Iowa and exposed Gingrich as an ideological chameleon and a fool. Gingrich's attacks on Romney have shown him to be a corporate raider, draft dodger, megaflipflopper and all round psychopath.

    Gingrich aside, Romney's superPAC attack ads say a lot more about him than they do about his targets. Quite simply, they show him to be a spoiled rich bully without a conscience who will say anything to demean and humiliate an opponent.

    Santorum has been successfully portrayed as a right wing religious extremist who wants to impose God's law, as he
    interprets it, on the rest of America.

    What the superPACs have done is made all the Republican candidates unelectable and virtually guarantee Obama's reelection. And, the Democrats never fired a shot. They've also handed the Dems all the ammunition they need to destroy any Republican candidate in the general election.

    February 16, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  8. A Southern Lady

    As I listen to the Republican candidates, each sounds about as crazy as the last one. As for Santorum, once it is found out that he is a religious zelot who opposes any kind of birth control, absolutely no abortion for any reason and says women are too "emotional" to function well and feels the bible should lead the government and not The Constitution, he will rightfully be shown the door. What has happened to the once-proud Republican party? Where are their candidates that are reasonable statesmen? It appears the Tea Party has eliminated them all. Sad.....

    February 16, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    The GOP primaries: a battle of wits between unarmed opponants. I've never seen a group of people so willing to unilaterally disarm their intellects, patriotism and collective consciences in order to attain power.

    February 16, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. diridi

    Obama2012. Period.

    February 16, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. Tyler Durden

    "I see your true colors shining through,
    I see your true colors, and that's why I love you,
    So don't be afraid, to let it show... your true colors, your true colors, are beautiful... like a rainbow..."
    -OBAMA BIDEN 2012

    February 16, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. Canuck

    Obama is certainly not perfect but the alternative is unthinkable.

    February 16, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. clarke

    These men are scary. I have no trust for either one of them. I don't feel either one has what it takes to sit in the Oval office. We need a reasonable statemen, a leader, who is for ALL the people of our country, no matter race, color or greed.

    February 16, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Why spend all this money on ads? It is a total waste. I turn off the TV when ever these ads come on..from both parties. I do my research and know the issues important to me and my family. Negative ads come on and I just "click" the remote button.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 16, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Tyler Durden

    "I see your true colors shining through,
    I see your true colors, and that's why I love you,
    So don't be afraid, to let it show... your true colors, your true colors, are beautiful... like a rainbow..."
    -OBAMA BIDEN 2012
    ------------------------
    If I might make a little adjustment to an otherwise perfect song for this occassion:
    "I see your true colors and that's why we won't vote for you".

    In the words of diridi: "We love you!...Obama...We love you!!".
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    February 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  16. pkbkr

    Keep slingin' that mud! One cannot throw mud without getting some on yourself! Love it when these Repukes eat their young! Obama/Biden 2012

    February 16, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Laurie in Spokane

    How said for this country that out of the millions and millions of people here, the Republicans can only offer up these two right wing, conniving, money laundering and neantherthalic individuals to run for POTUS. I'm so glad I know who I'm voting for (Obama of COURSE) so I don't have to vote for any of the remaining Republican contenders.

    February 16, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Ashera

    When the dust settles, there will only be one: Obama!

    February 16, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. TheTraveler

    Radio: OFF. Check
    Telephone: Caller ID ON. Check.
    Television: Set to HBO. Check
    Internet: Spam filters working. Check.
    Personal: Ignore BS mode ON. Check.

    Good to go.

    February 16, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. Expat American

    The Toto Coelo GOP circus act rolls into another city and pitches their ‘Big Tent’.

    It’s only a matter of time before Romney and Santorum start respectively accusing each other of being a Muslim Non-American citizen who refuses to wear a flag pin.

    Republican sing-a-long for 2012: I eat cannibals. I like the spice. Tasty and nice.

    February 16, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. Hairball

    It's come to this in politics, where shadowy attack groups announcing negative ad buys is news.

    February 16, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. Larry L

    I wonder if the Republican Party will accept the upcoming defeat as a wake-up call? Can they become a political party with a conservative, yet moderate base? If not, the possibility of a real third party gains momentum. Republicans are simply staying home during the primary because the radical fringe that controls the GOP has produced a ridiculous list of choices – the clown car.

    February 16, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. beevee

    Does Romney own a house in Detroit or anywhere in MIchigan? He has fabulous houses in CA and other places. He is more disconnected now to Michigan than he is connected. All this talk he is doing now is simply pandering to win MI in the battle for nomination. People can't forget his opposition to auto industry bail out.

    February 16, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. mommytwice

    Americans don't typically go for far-right, religious fanatics. Santorum is that and more, with his stance on birth control, abortion, and religion. His aim, it appears, is to have the United States time travel back to 1920. Mitt is so busy attacking and flip flopping he hasn't bothered to put together even a few paragraphs on what HE will do. Newt is a non-issue, with his multiple affairs, official reprimand as speaker and all the rest, he won't get the nomination. So...4 more years to Obama. I think that's the best thing, and that's what I will vote for. He is leading us gradually out of this mess, no matter how many times he's attacked, and I will stick with what's working.

    February 16, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. MICKEY

    And the GOP Clown Circus continues it's entertainment! If any of these morons get into the presidency, the US will not survive! Some of the things that come out of these candidates mouths is stunning. I believe they would say anything, do anything, cheat, steal, kill, or lie to get the bid. Insane!

    February 16, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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